We used to live in a perfect world. As individuals, many do their best to preserve and protect our planet. Each considers his or her efforts good enough. However, despite this we continue to destroy our environment as if we own it and ‘us’ its master. And if each of us will not be held liable in failing to contribute to the betterment of our surrounding, then it is simply like transferring our extra baggage to someone else’s shoulder.
This lack of true understanding or brainwashed belief that somehow things will be okay because as individuals (perhaps) we are at least making an attempt to recycle is a myth. Not one of us does enough. How many of us follow fashion, drive to the local store, have more than 3 pairs of shoes, leave lights on when not in use, discard more than one dustbin full of garbage, mostly packaging or unwanted food, in a week or for that matter a month? The list goes on and each of us, particularly those in so called civilized environments continue the destruction on a par with madness.
It is due to this frustrating parochial view that I began cutting my paintings up.
Destroying their completed perfection – just as we do to our world, I recycle the works, adding to the original story. This in turn helps me to get my message across on a more readily readable level. I encourage the viewer to stand back, re-assess their environmental contribution, and hopefully disturb them enough to make them rethink their involvement in the planet’s preservation.
A typical example of this is my painting titled FRACTURED VIEW. It started out as a portrayal of my local beach devoid of its human destroyers bar the umbrella evidence of humanity and its obvious pomposity (the yachts). A pleasant view, quiet, relaxing, sun filled and happy yet the underlying message is symbolic of our lax attitude to the global problem.
Original Work-- Fractured View
Recycled Work-- Fractured View
See more of Robin here.
“My aim is to capture the thought between the spoken words and what the
eye can capture” -- Ingela Johansson
Ingela has been in Singapore for almost a year and Asia has had a major impact on her art and how she looks upon art. To create a Nordic and Asian art fusion is a major inspiration. At the moment she is working on a new exhibit that will be done for the autumn where she is experimenting with a totally new technique in mixed media. Using photography, digital editing, and painting.
It is going to be called Singapore – Global Hot Pot
To her Singapore is one of the most exciting places because on this small island you can feel like you are on a tour around the globe. Each piece in the exhibit will have a red main character, although not necessarily a person. Every picture will suggest a story but then of course the spectator can rewrite it.
The exhibit will not in any way show the whole picture of Singapore but just a few glimpses of the global contrasts that you can find walking the streets of the city. Hopefully the pictures will inspire but also will give new view points and possibly tell stories that you have seen and others that you are not expecting.
"To tell stories in pictures is key in all my pieces.”-- Ingela
Pearls of Tide
Story: In time of rapid changes you can find the pearl and what really is important to you.
Picture Bride – preview
”The bride at Marin Bay--- Is she heading towards her wedding or is she on her way towards a new direction in life in the financial district?”
Story: One expression usually holds so many more. It takes time to see behind the first, the second, and the third to get to know one another.
Ingela Johansson was born in Sweden and has been creating picture stories since childhood. The main technique is her signature collages all connected to story telling. She has also been working with silk painting and illustrations for books and cooperations. To Ingela, a piece becomes more interesting with a story attached. Ingela was educated at The American College for the Applied Arts in London and at Nordic Design School in Borås.
She has had solo exhibitions in Sweden, and participated in exhibitions in Sweden, London and Paris. Ingela today is running Swedish Art and Design in Singapore, teaching, and creating art.
Please see more of Ingela here.
Before devoting himself full-time into painting, Jose Johann L. Bitancor has been a seasoned Visualizer/Graphic designer in the Philippines. As a designer, his practice ranged from exhibition designs to Advertising and Promotional materials for several Communications and Marketing Firms.
Upon his migration to the U.S. in 2003, he sought to further increase his knowledge and enrolled at the University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee in 2004, during which he was also granted a scholarship at the Memphis College of Art, Memphis Tennessee in 2006. Very recently, his longtime passion for sculpture produced several works in wood. Coupled with relentless experimentation with materials, his works now include textural abstractions based on everyday life's experiences.
A graduate of Fine Arts from Far Eastern University in 1996, Bitancor has also exhibited his works in various galleries and museums in the Philippines and the United States such as U.P. Vargas Museum-Diliman, Bencab Museum-Baguio, Rochester Contemporary Art Center-New York, Bliss on Bliss Art Projects, New York, Seattle-Washington and Germantown Performing Art Centre-Tennessee among others.
Let us now hear some words from the artist himself, Jose Johann L. Bitancor.
What inspired you to paint?
Early on, I have always been fascinated with the possibilities of transforming a given object or material from one state to another with the barest of means. I took pleasure as a child in hand-crafting my toys from scrap. This would later translate to wood carvings and two-dimensional mixed-media works. I must admit owing allegiance to the concerns of Picasso and Braque in treating reality as a springboard towards abstraction. As can be gleaned from my present works, there are traces of the everyday from the use of materials and graphic devices that hint at what is real, be it an anecdote or a commentary.
Which among your paintings is your favorite?
My favorite piece is “Alki Point”. This painting was derived from one of the tourist attractions in West Seattle state of Washington, called Alki Point avenue-- a place where modern architecture is everywhere. It offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle from all points.
What keeps you going?
Everyday experiences in life, and painting is my merely outlet to express my thoughts and emotions.
And what do you think is your edge over the others when it comes to your works?
Or perhaps you may want to mention your distinct character as an artist.
My main impetus is my latent sensibility of being rooted and integrated, rustic and cosmopolitan and emotional and cerebral at the same time.
See more of Jose Johann here.
After two years of full-time painting in the UAE, Australian artist Jennifer Stelco will be unveiling her first solo exhibition, Monster, at the 4 Walls Art Gallery in Dubai. The exhibition will run for 2 weeks, with an opening reception to launch the event to be held on Saturday, May 18th, from 7pm.
Having spent the past 2 years painting commissions, speed painting at corporate events, marketing herself on the web, illustrating the occasional book of poetry, displaying her work at markets and even doing the odd bit of teaching, Jennifer laments;
"As we all know, starting a career as a visual artist often involves a little sacrifice."
All the while, however, she has continued to actively strive towards gallery representation and sees Monster as the potential "kick-start" to an art career she has long been pursuing. As you can imagine, she is thrilled to be presenting 19 pieces of mixed media works to the art lovers of Dubai, and is enthusiastic to discover reactions to her intimate yet expressive project.
With Monster, Jennifer has made a characteristically unabashed choice. These conceptual works are, indeed, a departure from her usual representational paintings and portraits, and this leap epitomises her own impassioned thrust into solo exhibitions.
Jennifer’s painting process is almost a performance. She often uses gravity as a tool by splashing or dribbling paint onto the canvas, and displays elaborate gestures, painting at speed.
The Monster character is a representation of Jennifer at the peak of one of these frenzies; a distorted, multi-limbed version of herself, stomping around in an imaginary world of colour and shape, colliding and breaking apart, behaving in the way that Jennifer believes paint should, only semi-instructed.
Jennifer hopes the exhibition will be the virtual creation of this Monster, allowing her to focus more on these personal expressions and ideas in the future, as opposed to being restricted by the tight constraints of commission work. Within this context, Monster is truly an explosion of creativity and depicts an artist breaking free from such multi-faceted restraints.
The 4 Walls Gallery is nestled in the heart of an industrial area, Al Quoz, where a number of warehouses have been transformed into huge gallery spaces. Drinks and nibbles will be provided so, if you're around, come down to opening night to wade through the large, textured and colourful exhibition and meet the artist in person.
I am writing again. Quite an awesome feeling to be back to the world of creativity! To creative geniuses, more than the potential income of what the mind creates, it is the emotion that best triggers the excellence in the world of creation.
Speaking from my experience, the best output of creativity comes not from the stimulation of the mind but from a heart, caressed or pinched. Two contrasting extreme emotions of love and hate and of bliss and sorrow prompt a creative genius to work her magic. There lies a miracle when an innate creative being allows her emotion to heights. A paint artist would shiver without setting up the canvas to its easel so that he could paint right away and release whatever he feels. And a writer would keep mumbling words that run to and fro her head. And for creative geniuses, imagination is activated. Everything seems fancy, euphoric. Yet, a few times, it hurts. Some say that to come up with a brilliant output requires exposure to a lot of things around us. And we do not dismiss the veracity of such statement. In fact to many ARTYII artists like Julius Legaspi, could best paint when inspired. Just as he said, he was seldom vocal of what he feels so painting is a better expression.
But more than what we see is what we feel. And just as one of ARTYII artists, Edgardo Gamo Jr. revealed, “It is always passion and things that are not visible in the naked eye that prompt me to paint.”
There are so many things within us. A lot of things happen within us despite us, humans, just sitting still staring at a blank wall. And this applies the same to us lying down with our eyes shut from any sight to mesmerize us. Paradise and hell both reside in our minds. Grief and bliss both pump blood to our veins. And altogether, our hearts weakened or strengthened by a single idea stimulated by a powerful emotion--- of whatever it is! Then we write. We paint. We create music—one to reign in the minds of many. And all because of what is within us; not from what we grab outside. The best source of inspiration for a wonderful creative output dwells inside us for our art today is simply what we feel today.
My name is Nhan Tran Dinh. I was born in 1975. And I am a freelance artist who graduated from the University of Fine Arts.
During my childhood, art was my most favorite subject and I always dreamed I would later become an artist. However back in years, painting did not get enough attention as a valuable part of education even from the view of university professors and in which for such reason I missed support and guidance in drawing and in painting. Good thing, I was able to depend on my instinct in doing what I loved. Painting and the arts were an innocent passion of my childhood. And it was the best thing in me which I realized as I grew up.
After graduation from high school, the chaos of life had made me forget the dream of painting. I had to do a lot of work for a living. Life had been busy until I reached the age of 27. Just like any other passionate individual for a gift that he or she discovered within himself/herself, I, too, have experienced so many things such as success, failure, happiness, sorrow and even despair from the endeavour I engaged my life into. As I gradually understood more and more about the nature of life, I realized that everything around me is pointless and which seemed that everything that happened in my life, bad or good, led me to painting. I knew then that in me was a calling to pursue what I should do. The University of Fine Arts in the central of Vietnam gave me the opportunity to realize and actualize my dream. However, I had to cope with too many difficulties but love and passion had helped me get through.
Painting has changed many things in my life. It helped me feel more deeply about life. For me, painting is a reason for living. It is like breathing. And the successful path in painting is to work with one’s own extreme passion. I feel elated for every work finished. It seemed to me that painting becomes my source of emotional energy which invigorates my soul every day.
My paintings tend towards simplicity in appearance, expressing out my emotions and intentions through silence. I hope my kind of silence and simplicity were of great help to viewers to feel the serenity of life.
See more of Nhan Tran dinh here.
Elito Villaflor Circa was born on born January 28, 1970. He is better known as Amangpintor. Talk about folk painter in the Philippines and his name will ring a bell. He has been noted as the "first blood and hair painter of his generation of Filipino folk artists" and known for his signature subject of Legend of Minggan.
Amangpintor has no formal education in the field of Arts. But he takes pride of being not just a self-taught artist but being a brilliant painter by heart and soul. It does run in his blood and he made it sure that he will be literal about it by using blood as a medium in his art creation. Truly, he is an an artist by nature-- a painter, script writer, film maker, 3D animator, website developer, computer programmer and art educator. Wow, that must be a lot to multi-task! And when it comes to favorite subject in creating his arts, Amangpintor has always been depicting the life of Pantabangan from the 70's. It was the time where the town of Pantabangan was submerged in water. Up to the present, Amanpintor carries the style of creating image of Minggan on every painting that he makes. Historically, Pantabangan has sacrificed its land as it was drowned and made into a dam for the benefit of other towns by providing ample water supply for their crops.
With his philosophy in life especially in the reincarnation, aside from blood as a medium, he likewise uses his own hair as one of his media and styles in painting. Also on his canvas can be seen is his blood signature at the right side of the paintings. Because he believes that his fellow countrymen can initially recognize the works of their fellow Filipino just by Lukso ng Dugo. The term is defined as one of the Filipino principles to mean a feeling one gets upon meeting another person who turns out to be a relative.
Amangpintor is also very active in civic arts organization. He has been a Board Chairman for 7 years and currently the Board Adviser of the Samahang Makasining(Artist Club), Inc. National Level. He is likewise too much involved as the Tourism Adviser of Pantabangan in local Government Unit. But his best affiliation is when he presently heads the Visual Arts of Association of Nueva Ecija which is an artist group project of the Provincial Governor's Office.
Surely, Amangpintor has already made his name in the field of arts and has been continuously making a brilliant name to-date. In fact, recently he has been invited to Tv-guest in one of the local's talk shows.
See more of Amangpintor here.
"Successful artist for me is the one who successfully conveys his feelings through his art and people are able to connect to it easily and deeply."--- Vishal
My name is Vishal Jain, 31 years old. I was born and brought up in Agra, India, and am currently living in Pune city of India. Agra is famous for the Taj Mahal one of the wonders of the world, and Pune is the land full of art enthusiasts, perhaps that conspired an artist in me.
I’m a software engineer by profession and an artist by heart. Since my childhood I have the tendency of speaking less, perhaps that’s why I’ve chosen paintings for my expressions.Painting to me is a medium to express my inner feelings about anything. Sometimes through my paintings I want the viewer to enjoy the very simple things in life which we tend to take for granted. Sometimes I want the viewer to feel the power and inspiration. But always I want that the viewer is not just a viewer but a part of the feelings. Through my paintings I try to portray something which makes the viewer lost in that feeling for some time. I’ve fallen in love with painting and it feels more than a passion for me.
Since my childhood I was interested in drawing and sketching. It just requires a pencil and paper and was enough for my hobby. Though I have been practicing and enjoying the drawing for years, only recently in 2009 I thought of moving one step up when I was amazed by some of watercolor paintings in a book. I started exploring watercolor painting and enjoying since then, though only as a part time. I enjoy painting landscapes, portraits and semi-abstracts. I love to express love, peace, flow, lightness and inspiration in my artworks. I try to keep my works simple. Though I like the transparency and spontaneity of watercolors currently, I believe we can express the feeling using any medium.
I don’t have any formal education or training of arts/painting and I feel it does not matter much either. I enjoy the self learning. I think that art cannot be taught from outside only, it comes from within. Though I’ve not had any formal success for my artworks apart from the appreciations from friends and relatives, recently I displayed my works in a local small exhibition and got good feedback. As it’s just a starting for me, I’m sure I’ll have some achievements to write about here later .
See more of Vishal here.
My name is Ichsan Harja. Living in Bandung __a city known nationally as a city rich in its Art Deco buildings__ has made me an art, history and architecture enthusiast. Among my way of sharing this enthusiasm was using sketch, and since 2005 __along with several friends__ we have been publishing several sketchbooks depicting hundreds of historic buildings in several cities in Indonesia. In 2009, Asian Public Intellectuals (API) Foundation offered me the chance for an artist-in-residence program in Japan for almost one year. The program has greatly affected the style of my artworks, resulted in a more vivid and dramatic painting.
Most of my watercolor works are landscape/urbanscape, usually taken from the best angle possible. Sometimes this means I have to reinterpret something that had been done by somebody else; however, I often add dramatic elements by putting those objects in an entirely different-yet-realistic light or atmosphere. In fact, most of my works are about a certain quality of light: the harsh autumn light with ultramarine-hued shadows, or unusual marmelade sky caused by a rare combination of late noon sunlight, low-hanging clouds and thin snow. Most of my earliest works (2005-2009) done in studio; however, I have been doing a lot of plein-air painting lately, since the limited time and the everchanging quality of light compel me to work quickly, creating a more spontaneous and expressive artworks.
Although I want certain message to be conveyed through my artworks, those are not a political statement. I am not interested in using it to criticising any social, cultural nor political conditions in any context and time; instead, I tried to convey a notion of universal, timeless beauty. I want the viewer to enjoy my work as is, without any pretext nor context. Indeed, one of my best moment was happened during my exhibition in Kyoto Prefectural University, when a janitor _after cleaning the exhibition room right before the opening ceremony__ come up to me with his wife (brought hastily from their home, just to see my painting) and said, We enjoy your picture very much, sir. Art should be universal, regardless one one’s education and position in life.
See more of Ichsan here.
Many things in my life seem to have prepared me for this moment. While I became an artist and start painting fairly recently, the ability to express myself through my art now seems like a greater calling. By the way, my name is Chris de Meo. Just call me Chris. I am not a Thailand native but I am I am definite that I am Thai by heart.
It is almost as if I have waited all my life to allow myself to paint, denying myself this important outlet for a variety of reasons. I was always either busy playing sport, or working in a variety of professions that never allowed me to explore any depth of creative expression.
I cannot say I have a specific style, genre or methodology for that matter. I only have an idea of the colour palette I intend to use working mostly enamel with splashes of acrylic thrown in.
However I don't believe that one needs an art degree or formal training. I paint because I love it and admire all artists who have the guts to express themselves. I continue to incubate ideas born from the many countries I have visited and the people I have met along the way.
I was born in Fremantle Western Australia in 1962 to humble beginnings. My working class Italian father and Australian mother raised me in what was primary a very rural environment. Now it only seems natural that I spend most of my life in rural Thailand. I split my time between two locations: Nong Khai near the banks of the Mekong River in Thailand's north-east, and in Rawai on Phuket. Currently this is where I do most of my painting - just a stone’s throw away from the Indian Ocean.
My paintings are inspired by the combinations of colours found in nature on a daily basis and how I interpret them.
When I started working I placed canvas on the ground of my back lawn. Painting on the floor works for me as it enables me to walk around and over an individual piece, usually working on two to three pieces at a time. Once the door opens in my subconscious mind, and this can happen on early morning walks or bicycle rides, things just happen. Three to five hours go by but to me it feels like only twenty minutes.
To date my completed work numbers over 50 paintings, some of which are displayed here. I hope those who read this will also take the time to offer feedback, positive or negative. Thank you.
Please see more of Chris here.